Home…

Hello everyone! I know it’s been a little while since I’ve posted a blog, but I am back and almost all settled in my little Isa house. Isa is the neighborhood that I live in, in case you wondered. It will be a week tomorrow that I moved in.

Let me start with that, I have been out shopping, and shopping, my credit cards are crying out in pain for all the use they have had of late, but I will be reimbursed for a large part of it. Tonight I had my little black sofa delivered by the Today! OK delivery men. This is a very wonderful furniture store that has nice new furniture or gently used furniture and home decor. I chose a little black sofa and was delighted to find out tonight that it opens to a futon! So this store lends you a truck and they load it for you and then you drive it to your place, unload and return! I was supposed to do that last Thursday evening, but there were complications with my housing agent so I decided to pay the twenty dollars for delivery.

IMG_0324I find that there are complications due to language  (with the locals) or simply due to many layers of policy (with the military). But once I changed my mindset and approach, all things work out! I use my own brand of psychology/Stoic philosophy on myself. I remind my self that I can only control my thoughts and my actions, all else is out of my hands. Will getting angry or upset solve the problem? No? Then let it go…and truly, I am now living in paradise and am learning to relax and live in harmony.

For the past week or so we have had orientations on cultural understanding, the way of life here is harmony with the land, natural forces and each other. In one power point presentation they showed that there are 31 people per square kilometer in the US, over here it is 339! So people have got to learn to work together and get along. For instance, there are no janitors in the schools here, the children clean the classrooms and do the yard work at school. They learn to cooperate with each other and work out difficulties with respect. What a refreshing way to live. Also, I kept noticing when I went into bathrooms that the toilet paper would be folded to form a down facing triangle. I asked about this and was told that it was a courtesy for the next person using the bathroom, so they would be able to take the available toilet paper without struggling to find it. Isn’t that wonderful??

So, I am in my house tonight on my newly arrived little sofa (did I tell you that I got it for $92?) watching Shogun! How cool is that? I went to the library last Friday night and got my library card. There are all kinds of great books, movies and cds. There is also free internet access and big cushiony leather chairs to relax in.

IMG_0320This is dinner I made last night…a stir-fry of goya (a nutritionally dense bitter melon), japanese eggplant, bean sprouts, purple cabbage, onion and spinach. I made up some nice rice with it and ate with my new chopsticks which are resting on a little neco (cat) chopstick rest.

So, I am in my house tonight on my newly arrived little sofa (did I tell you that I got it for $92?) watching Shogun! How cool is that? I went to the library last Friday night and got my library card. There are all kinds of great books, movies and cds. There is also free internet access and big cushiony leather chairs to relax in.

On Saturday last week my new coworker and friend Amanda and I took a drive up the coast to Onna to Cape Manzamo. This place literally took my breath away, the coral filled beaches and water worn rocks were things you see on postcards. As a matter of fact I had bought a postcard for my friend Jerry (I have to send it out) of this very place. I also bought a kabugasa there. The kabugasa is that iconic hat you’ve pictured Asian people wearing for years. I will be boxing that up and sending it home to my Mom as she said she wanted one. The lady who sold it to me was laughing the whole time, but very accepting, not making fun, or at least I don’t think she was!!

Oh, one last little comment before I go. The featured image photo at the top of the page is sunset at the Seawall near my house. I was out running the other night and looked out and had the pleasure of seeing the sun drop into the East China Sea. I stopped and looked around and noticed that many of the local people came out to share the moment. We all were standing there looking in wonder at what Mother Nature put on display for us. We were all smiling at each other and just enjoying the moment. I felt very at home and although we don’t speak the same language, we all seemed to understand each other. What a great experience!

hibiscus
hibiscus grow wild in abundance everywhere you look! Even on a Marine base!
park near my house
This is a lovely little park near the seawall, a few blocks from my house.
onna
Cape Manzamo in Onna… this is one of the famous places in Okinawa. Incredibly beautiful.
kabugasa
This is me and Mom’s kabugasa…I don’t think she’ll mind that I broke it in for her!